Fish spawning in the desert - Margaret Creek and Lake Eyre

Submitted: Wednesday, May 25, 2016 at 21:34
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Don't know if y'all saw the article in many media outlets about the fish spawning in the Creeks around the Oodnadatta Track and Lake Eyre but we were privileged enough to witness the phenomena last week.

Fortuitously, we camped by Margaret Creek. When I awoke that morning, it was like we were by the sea with gulls squawking, terns, dotterels and many other sea and water birds. Stopping at the causeway, we soon found out why. The waterhole was chock a block full of fish who could no longer swim upstream to the larger pools due to the drop in water levels.

I hope the photos do it justice. The dark colour of the water is actually millions of fish milling aimlessly.





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Reply By: Member - John (Vic) - Wednesday, May 25, 2016 at 21:40

Wednesday, May 25, 2016 at 21:40
Certainly a unique experience.
A few of those fish look in need of a bit of mouth to mouth, I hope you put your lifesaving skills to use and resuscitated a few. :)

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Follow Up By: Mick O - Wednesday, May 25, 2016 at 21:53

Wednesday, May 25, 2016 at 21:53
Funny you should mention that but we were seen with buckets in hand doing our bit to promote future fish numbers ;-)

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Reply By: Member - ACD 1 - Wednesday, May 25, 2016 at 22:07

Wednesday, May 25, 2016 at 22:07
Another fine example of the majesty and mystery of this great place we call Australia.

Isn't it amazing how the most wonderous events are also marked with a degree of tragedy.

Oh the circle of life!...

Thanks for sharing Mick.

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Reply By: Life Member - Duncan W (WA) - Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 10:15

Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 10:15
Yes you were very lucky to see that Mick. Saw it on TV on Sunday night's news I think it was and was blown away by it. Now if you were looking for bait I think it would be the ideal place to be.

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Reply By: Member - John T (Tamworth NSW) - Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 10:20

Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 10:20
G'day Mick

Amazing just how quickly Mother Nature gets things recreating after a bit of rain. And that particular species of fish (Spangled Perch) is one of the quickest to do its thing.

Cheers and thanks for th pics
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Reply By: Rick (S.A.) - Sunday, May 29, 2016 at 16:32

Sunday, May 29, 2016 at 16:32
Ahh, the desert and its quick life cycles.............

Mick, Peter Young & I were there on Wednesday May 25 and there was very little water trickling over the causeway floor. About 15 banded stilts were upstream and while there were fish, it was nothing like your experience.

The rusty steel framework is in fact designed to be a fish ladder. It was installed after the causeway was constructed, when it was realised that the concrete structure may prevent movement of fish.

An amazing blooming desert, eh?





We camped that night on the Alberga at Tookaninna Waterhole, and while it was a pleasant location, I was eaten alive by mozzies. You'd think I should know better...........

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Follow Up By: Mick O - Sunday, May 29, 2016 at 21:20

Sunday, May 29, 2016 at 21:20
Rick, what a difference a few days can make. I'd imagine the place was alive with flowers. I've just been going over some of our video footage and it is truly incredible. The sheer volume of fish in those pools. We had some areal's taken with a drone and the black mass of fish in the water is quite discernible.

We suffered the same fate at Algebuckina in April 2011. Foolishly I answered the call early evening and lost near a pint of claret before I could get my strides up! They were that plentiful that I could only sleep with ear plugs in to drone out the buzzing of thousands of them trying to get through the mesh on the windows of the roof top Taj!. We looked a sight sitting around the fire with thick clothing, fly nets on and heavy leather gloves. Two weeks later and after a sudden cold snap, there wasn't one to be found!

Cheers. Mick
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Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Sunday, May 29, 2016 at 16:46

Sunday, May 29, 2016 at 16:46
My father climbed Uluru before dawn in the mid 50s to get a pic of the sun rise.
There were pools of water at the top with fish in them.

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